Home Sports Boxing Manny Pacquiao Won’t Be Fighting Mikey Garcia And Here’s Why
Manny Pacquiao Won’t Be Fighting Mikey Garcia And Here’s Why

Manny Pacquiao Won’t Be Fighting Mikey Garcia And Here’s Why

Manny Pacquiao isn’t likely to fight Mikey Garcia in Saudi Arabia and it doesn’t look like he’ll fight him at all.

It has been almost eight months since Pacquiao has last fought. After defeating Keith Thurman on July 20, 2019, at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, it seemed the then 40-year-old Pacquiao was on a roll coming off a three-fight win streak having defeated Thurman, Adrien Broner and Lucas Matthysse in just over a 12-month span. If we can agree that the Jeff Horn loss was controversial, then an argument can be made that Pacquiao hasn’t lost since losing to Floyd Mayweather Jr in 2015. There has been a lot of speculation as to who the now 41-year-old, Filipino, having competed in four decades and only eight weight class world champion in history would be facing next including Garcia.

Back in September, even I felt that Pacquiao would be facing Garcia next in what I called a dead-end fight. I have now changed my feelings on this fight being possible, despite what others are reporting in the media.

Since then, there has been a lot of social media chatter, but not a lot of confirmation regarding Pacquiao’s next opponent.

Tracy David, Chief Marketing Officer for social analytics platform ListenFirst, said, “With over 20.7 million fans on social media, Manny Pacquiao remains one of the most popular boxers on social but having been out of the ring for nearly 8 months, there’s only a medium level of interest by the social media audience in speculating about his next fight. When there are some bread crumbs that a fight against someone like Conor McGregor or Mikey Garcia might be in the works; the social media chatter picks up for a couple of days before dying down again. Boxing fans will need to see something concrete to get excited about an upcoming Pacquiao fight.”

Top Manny Pacquiao Related Social Media Insights

Between February 11 – March 2, 2020 there have been 644 tweets mentioning both Manny Pacquiao and either Audie Attar or Paradigm Sports. To a degree, Pacquiao signing with the same management company that represents McGregor has raised the real-time conversation around a possible Pacquiao vs. McGregor fight. Between February 11 – March 2, 2020, there have been 3,403 tweets mentioning both McGregor and Pacquiao. In the three weeks that proceeded that announcement, meaning between January 21 – February 10, there were only 529 tweets mentioning both McGregor and Pacquiao.

However, 2,112 of those tweets mentioning both McGregor and Pacquiao came between February 11-12, 2020; meaning their potential fight was primarily a two day conversation on social media.

There were 2,746 tweets mentioning both Pacquiao and Mikey Garcia between February 11 – March 2, 2020, with 1,144 of those tweets coming on March 2, the day after Garcia beat Jessie Vargas.

Around the lack of news on the boxing front, the top performing content Pacquiao has published on social media between between January 1- March 2, 2020 has not been boxing related. He generated 530 thousand Responses around a Facebook video wishing everyone a happy new year and he received 422 thousand responses around an Instagram post saying goodbye to Kobe Bryant.

There was talk of Pacquiao possibly fighting UFC star Conor McGregor after Pacquiao having signed with Audie Attar and Paradigm Sports Management, the same company that represents McGregor, with Pacquiao issuing the following statement as part of a press release on February 11.

“I am proud to partner with Paradigm Sports Management and am excited for the opportunities that [Paradigm president and CEO] Audie Attar and PSM have to offer, one thing I want everyone to remember is to always think positively. Never think negatively; that is the beginning of your downfall. Everything is possible.”

What I find interesting is that since that announcement on February 11, we haven’t heard anything else from Pacquiao or Paradigm Sports Management regarding the relationship and what’s next for Pacquiao, leading me to believe there is something else going on behind the scenes pertaining to that union. If things keep moving at this pace, the Filipino Senator could be looking at a year of inactivity and could constitute the WBA stripping him of his regular title, not that it’s going to matter in the grand scheme of things, although very unlikely considering Pacquiao’s status and the fact that July 11 has been mentioned as a possible date. Literally a week shy of one year out of the ring.

Enter Eddie Hearn and Matchroom Boxing who promoted the Mikey Garcia vs. Jessie Vargas fight last Saturday in Texas. According to The Athletic’s Mike Coppinger, Hearn has expressed that he’s in talks with Pacquiao to stage a Pacquiao vs. Garcia fight in July in Saudi Arabia.

What I suspect is as follows. Pacquiao will be facing either Danny Garcia, Shawn Porter or Amir Khan in July on a PBC and MP Promotions fight card. If Pacquiao wants to fight in Saudi Arabia, he can cut his own deal. He doesn’t need Eddie Hearn to be a middle man to make his own deal and cut himself in for a fee. The last time we heard Hearn was close to making a deal with Pacquiao, we woke up to learn Pacquiao entered into a relationship with PBC.

Furthermore, everything we’re hearing about Pacquiao’s working relationship with Al Haymon and PBC is purely speculation. Neither Pacquiao nor PBC have commented on it. With that being said, I’m under the assumption they will continue to work together unless we hear otherwise, directly from either Pacquiao or PBC.

At this stage of Pacquiao’s career, father time is his most dangerous opponent. Is a McGregor matchup possible? Sure it is, however more likely when Pacquiao is done fighting real boxing matches and looking for one last payday.

Until then, I suspect by the middle of March, a formal announcement will be made regarding Pacquiao’s next opponent. Although this is boxing and nothing would surprise me.

© Forbes | Peter Kahn | Photo: Getty Images